Federal officials make formal apology for WWII internment of Unangan people

(Photo by Scott Burton/KTOO).

Federal officials apologized Wednesday for their role in the World War II internment of the Unangan people.

Jim Kurth, acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, traveled to St. Paul Island to speak with survivors and descendants.

“As much as we wish, we cannot take back the course of history,” Kurth said. “But what we can do now is heal together. We can work together.”

Fish and Wildlife agents oversaw the internment of the people of the Pribilof Islands. They were sent to inhumane camps in southeast Alaska where many perished due to illness and starvation — after the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor in 1942.

In all, almost 900 Alaska Natives were evacuated from the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands.

Like what you just read? KTOO news stories are member supported. Support your community news source today. Donate to KTOO.
Site notifications
Update notification options
Subscribe to notifications